Wyoming Liberty Group
Maureen Bader talks to John Birbari on KVOW Riverton Radio about Wyoming's spending blowout to buy your votes. Now that minerals industry revenue is on the decline, politiicans are scrambling around to find a way to maintain the illusion of free stuff. But instead of asking "who" will pay for it all, we need to start looking at "what" we are paying for. Politicians can always come up with an answer for "who" but the results are unlikely to pan out. Find out why in this interview.
When the Wyoming Business Council proposes a handout for a private business, the focus is on the positive—jobs, economic diversification, the flag and apple pie. When it brings these proposals before the State Loan and Investment Board (SLIB), the costs of these handouts—wasted resources, cronyism and the damage to unsubsidized competition—go unmentioned. The proposed $407,000 handout to the City of Chugwater is a good example of how attracting a tax consuming business to town wastes resources and worse, it could harm a taxpaying business. When this proposal comes before the SLIB, it must decline to rubber stamp this handout.
The ink had barely dried on the Tax Foundation’s latest State Business Tax Climate report before the Wyoming Business Council trumpeted out our state’s number one ranking. As I recently explained, this ranking is more symbolic than grounded in economic reality. For one, our state is not exactly brimming with economic activity – we are not even able to keep up with the lackluster national economic recovery.
Looking superficially at the Tax Foundation’s recently released annual report on state business taxes, state elected officials might feel they have reason to celebrate: Wyoming retains the coveted number one ranking for 2014. Officials could also take pleasure in seeing that our neighboring states are not doing nearly as well:
- Only one, South Dakota, comes close to competing with us (they rank second);
- Montana is seventh;
- Utah is ninth;
- Idaho is 18th;
- Colorado is 19th and
- Nebraska is at a lowly 34th place.
Senator Enzi (R-Wyo) was in Cheyenne on February 19, 2013 during his statewide listening tour to collect “common sense for Washington from Wyoming.” One piece of common sense he ignored was the call to reject the proposed Internet retail sales tax.
Sen. Enzi has long pushed for legislation to collect the tax on Internet sales. With no luck getting his bills passed, he recently changed his modus operandi and attached the tax grab as an amendment to the latest Senate budget bill.
The Tax Foundation has released its annual study of state business tax climates. Once again, Wyoming ranks at the top, a fact that will surely be noted across the state. Last year Governor Mead noted Wyoming’s first-in-the-nation ranking in his State of the State speech.